HR Landscape 2021: An Eye Out For Radical Changes

The HR landscape 2021 is the epoch of change in that if ever a metamorphosis in nearly all fields concerning human resources was felt at once, it is now. Experts say that these changes would have taken 5-10 years in becoming a reality if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the struggle, some innovative practices and policy-changes are born and mark the future of the HR landscape.

Often, as with such drastic change, comes a scramble for tracking laws and compliance overheads as businesses focus on survival and continuing profitability. The HR landscape 2021 will be a bigger hybrid than foreseen last year as far as the mix of distributed teams, shelter-in-place workers logging in hours virtually, and a mandatory lean workforce being present in the office if needed are concerned.

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A slew of HR landscape 2021 changes is in the works:

An eye out for labor laws: Employers are tasked with the responsibility of the health and safety of employees even when they work from home. Resources to ensure physical comfort and security have to be in place. While no laws may directly name working from home within their purview, Right to Decent Work and Right to Social Protection figure in the employer’s code of creating a safe job role for their employees.

Model Standing Orders for the Service Sector have now been redrafted with work from home options. But they are predicated upon an understanding of the terms of the employment between the employer and the workers. The Code on Social Security brings about social security for the gig workers, platform workers, unorganized workers, and freelancers, including consultants.

Clarification on work from home policy: In cases of a hastily put-together work from home policy, some expenses in terms of phone, Internet service, ergonomic and safe seating, and tables may be borne by the employee. Or, there might be a delay in setting up these facilities in a home not hitherto equipped to become a home office. Clarity on all such points would keep both employers and employees on the same page for the future of work.

Leave, medical leave, and long leave: The existing leave policy might need new caveats to be placed for those facing medical crises due to COVID-19, or bereavement as a result of the pandemic. Procedures on such matters should be envisaged before a case presents itself before the HR operations. Even maternity leave may be affected as a result, and such deliberation should be a mandatory part of discussions in the HR landscape 2021.

Staffing compliance makes new inclusions in HR landscape 2021: Recruiters and employers are now required to solicit the Aadhaar document provided by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) for proof of identity of every new hire.

A refresher on harassment and workplace behavior: The responsibility lies with the employer to ensure that all employees, whether they work from home, office, or a third (documented) location, are aware of behavioral standards and ethics for phone calls and video conferences. The POSH Law stands for Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 and explicitly covers work from home employees as well as temporary workers, daily wage workers, probationers, and interns, among others. A reminder module, audio, video briefing is helpful to all workers.

Clarification, and if necessary, briefings on all these points should be offered by the employer for smooth sailing in the HR landscape 2021. Changes to existing laws should be made part of the employee handbook.


  • 2021 HR Landscape: Save Time, Be Safe and Remain Compliant | Talent | Christina Morillo | October 2020
  • Home-based Work in India | | January 2021
  • Explained: Impact of Labour Codes on IT/ITes Companies | Simpliance | Animay Singh and Madhu Damodaran | December 2020
  • Do Indian Laws Support Remote Work/Work from Home (WFH)? | Simpliance | Animay Singh | April 2020

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